nbn, the company overseeing the construction of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has revealed that turnover in the three months ended 31 March 2017 increased significantly, to AUD262 million (USD193 million) from AUD111 million in the corresponding period of 2016. However, the company reported a negative adjusted EBITDA of AUD195 million in the three-month period (the third quarter of its 2016/17 financial year), while it saw an operating loss of AUD1.05 billion, compared to a loss of AUD603 million a year earlier.
nbn said that the number of premises ready for service had increased to 4.62 million at the end of the period under review, up from 3.82 million at the end of 2016, and more than double the 2.01 million it reported for end-March 2016. Of the most recent total, some 1.88 million premises were covered by fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology, up from just over 300,000 at 31 March 2016, while fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) was available to 1.48 million premises (Mar-16: 1.29 million). Meanwhile, HFC-based connectivity was also expanded notably, with the addressable footprint rising from less than 20,000 at June 2016 (the service launched commercially that month) to just over 350,000 at end-March 2017.
As coverage has expanded, so has uptake, with nbn reporting 2.01 million active end users at the end of the latest quarter, representing a more than 222% increase from just over 900,000 at end-March 2016. While the lion’s share of those – 1.03 million – were accessing the internet via FTTP, the biggest increase was seen in the number of FTTN accesses, which rose from less than 50,000 to just over 676,000 in the year to 31 March 2017.
Commenting on the company’s performance, nbn CEO Bill Morrow was cited as saying: ‘There is no denying that we are making this rapid progress primarily due to our use of existing infrastructure and technology-agnostic approach … In particular, the maturity of the FTTN deployment processes means we have seen extraordinary annual growth in our footprint.’
nbn’s results come in the wake of a recent ACCC announcement on the latest state of play in the NBN wholesale market on 3 May.